After the tragic bus crash that killed 10 last Thursday, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is reevaluating safety standards on bus design, truck design, and highway design. The NTSB is gathering evidence at the site of the crash, interviewing witnesses, and attempting to determine how and why the crash happened.
Both parties involved in the crash, FedEx and Silverado Stages Inc., have satisfactory safety ratings from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, its highest rating. Authorities have concluded that the FedEx truck was not on fire when it slammed into the bus, contrary to some eyewitness testimony.
The FedEx big rig was a double-trailer truck, which has a reputation of being more dangerous than single-trailer trucks. Double-trailer trucks are prone to being incredibly heavy and have a propensity to jackknife more easily than single-trailers. FedEx is not aware of any dangerous or explosive cargo that may have been on the truck and is cooperating with authorities into the investigation.
The section of Interstate 5 where the crash occurred was not fitted with a solid median barrier, which may have prevented the big rig from crossing the grassy median and colliding with oncoming traffic. The impact of the head-on collision may have contributed to the vehicles bursting into flames.
10 people were killed, including the driver of the FedEx truck, the driver of the charter bus, five students, and three chaperones. The bus was en route from Southern California to Humboldt State University for a campus visit. The investigation into the crash is expected to take several months.